MIOSHA Implements New Emergency Rules

MIOSHA has rescinded the emergency rules issued on May 24, 2021, and replaced them with the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Dental offices that screen everyone entering the office (patients, staff, and guests) and refuse entry to those suspected to be COVID-19 positive are largely exempt from the OSHA ETS requirements.

The ADA has a fact sheet that provides detailed information about compliance. Here’s an overview of what you need to know:

Screenings: Everyone (patients, employees, and non-employees on site) must be screened prior to entry, and those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter.

Record retention for screenings is as follows:

  • Employees and non-employees on site: The screening record retention requirement is no longer in place. However, the MDA recommends maintaining these records for at least six months.
  • Patients: Screening records should be included in the patient’s health record.

Face coverings: Patients and employees are no longer required to wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status. Dentists can continue to require face coverings for employees and/or patients if they choose. Please note that the CDC guidelines for dental settings still recommend face coverings for everyone who enters the dental office. The MDA continues to recommend dental offices follow CDC guidelines.

Distancing: There are no longer social distancing requirements for dental offices.

Preparedness Plan: Dental offices must continue to maintain a COVID-19 preparedness plan that includes “a workplace-specific hazard assessment to identify potential workplace hazards related to COVID-19.” An OSHA inspection for any reason will likely begin with a request for your office’s plan.

Training: Dental offices must ensure that each employee receives training that is consistent with your COVID-19 preparedness plan.

For the latest COVID-19 information, visit the MDA COVID-19 Center.